It was a busy and productive summer at The Storm King School despite all of the restrictions and limitations caused by COVID-19. After a swift move to online teaching and learning, and a virtual commencement ceremony in early June, the School’s administration, faculty, and staff got right to work creating new health protocols and procedures designed to keep everyone healthy, connected, and learning when school reopens in the coming days.
Consistent monitoring of federal and state guidelines, open communication with local health officials and Storm King families, and the tireless work of the School’s COVID-19 Reopening Task Force produced a detailed and feasible reopening plan and a new hybrid instruction model.
On July 31, SKS’ plan was submitted to the New York State Department of Health and the Education Department and made available to the SKS community. Since then, all of the School’s collective energy has gone toward implementing the plan in preparation for the arrival of our first group of students next week.
Throughout the summer, the School has been stocking up on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), cleaning supplies, and sanitizing products. The staff has been working on campus and inside buildings and dorms to identify where new signage is needed, which classrooms require reduced capacities, and how to best utilize shared spaces. Most recently, Plexiglas barriers have been installed and capacity has been reduced in high traffic areas including the dining hall and key offices to allow for maximum distancing. These are only a few of the changes students will experience when they arrive over the next few weeks.
Our teachers also returned to campus this week to prepare their classrooms and workspaces, and to attend Faculty Orientation. After completing a series of virtual training meetings and a socially-distanced CPR course, faculty focused on learning how to use the School’s new classroom “owls”– newly-acquired technology that allows them to deliver engaging lessons live from their classrooms to students who are learning online.
The implementation of the School’s reopening plan has gone smoothly so far, thanks to the hard work and commitment of our faculty and staff. Next up is the safe arrival and orientation of our students and the kick-off of our 2020-2021 academic year. We can’t wait to see our returning students again and to welcome our new students into the Storm King family, whether online or in-person!